I don't even cry anymore. My tears have dried up after years of helping our daughter deal with IH. I feel fortunate. She has avoided surgery -- how lucky is that?! I know far too many IH patients that have had to undergo multiple surgeries for shunts, shunt failures, infections, and revisions. I am truly grateful that the medicines have helped her avoid surgery. The medicines barely manage the high pressure and she's come dangerously close to needing a shunt a few times.
So why do I bring all this up? Because I cried like a baby the other day. I was searching through my jewelry drawer and came out with a baby food jar! It was decorated with cute little Mother's Day stickers and ribbon. Nine years ago, my daughter's teacher had the kids make a jar of favorite memories for their mothers. What a sweet gift! Unfortunately, I knew what that jar held. Did I dare to open it and read all the memories again? Oh, why not? After all, my tears dried up years ago. Big mistake!
In the jar were many pieces of brightly colored paper with one memory on each piece. In her childish handwriting, she had printed:
- I remember when you were with me at the MRI.
- I remember when you were with me when I had to get my 1st spinal tap
- I remember when I threw up and you got me an ice pack
- I remember when I had a stomach migraine at the cabin and you helped me
- I remember when you were with me when I had to get blood drawn
- I remember when you held my hand when I got stitches
- I remember when you helped me get over my broken arm
The jar is safely back in the drawer for now. I don't keep it to remind me of sad times. I keep it to remind me that I've done a good job as a mother! We parents cannot stop the world from hurting our children. When they are sick, they have to suffer through many invasive procedures. We can't make it hurt less, but we can be there with them to help get through it all. In the end, that's what they remember -- how you helped them by being there.